DeKalb, IL — High school track athlete Andraya Yearwood has become an inspiration to other Black transgender women and loves that she can compete as who she is in the new documentary “Changing the Game.”
Yearwood was often met by furious parents in the bleachers who threw hateful, transphobic comments her way while competing in a track meet. Despite this, she’s glad she’s not excluded from an activity everyone should have the right to access.
Alex Schmider, one of the film’s producers, said certain bodies are celebrated and certain bodies are regulated.
“We need to understand the intersectionality and what it means to be a girl and woman in this society or a boy and man,” Schmider said, according to USA Today. “We need to understand what it means to have your body under a microscope and policed, especially if you are Black and Brown.”
Yearwood’s story, along with three other transgender teen athletes, are told in the documentary now streaming on Hulu. It explores how their fight for acceptance goes far beyond their sports.
Sarah Rose Huckman, a skier from New Hampshire, and Mack Beggs, a wrestler in Texas, are featured in the documentary. They discuss the “fairness” of competing in high school sports as transgender teens.
Schmider hopes the film will show viewers that through moments of hatred and bigotry – often from parents of athletes these children were competing with – there is a sense of hope and resiliency transgender students rely on to push through their daily battles.
"If you don’t perfectly conform to gender expectations, it affects all of us,” Schmider said, according to USA Today. “It’s about self-definition and self-determination and being accepted for who you are and being able to live safely and fully yourself. I hope people understand that this is their fight, too."